Last week you received the details of the new collective agreement awarded by Mediator/Arbitrator William Kaplan. As you will recall the initial award did not include a decision on shift and weekend premiums.
Today, Mr. Kaplan awarded a 50 cent increase on shift and weekend premiums. The premium award can be found here.
This is an important increase for many health care workers. As you know Liberal Bill 148 legislated a wage pattern on health care workers. This means, by law, wages already covered by legislation could not be negotiated. Shift and weekend premiums were one of the few monetary issues that your bargaining committee could negotiate on your behalf.
The Employers proposed no increase for these premiums. The Council of Unions proposed an increase of $1.15.
Health Care workers are doing their best to help hold together a health care system in crisis. The NSGEU welcomes this increase, you all deserve it.
For NSGEU Health Care members this means an increase in shift and weekend premiums from the current rate of $1.85 to $2.35 by the end of the new collective agreement.
The increase will be implemented over the term of the new collective agreement:
- Increase of 15 cents effective today, August 15, 2018
- Increase of 15 cents effective, August 1, 2019
- Increase of 20 cents effective October 31, 2020
This was a unique and complex round of bargaining. It was made more challenging by the Liberal Government’s use of legislation to undermine the bargaining process against working people. Your support of the bargaining committee with a strong strike vote was the turning point that boxed the Employers in and forced the Government to agree to mediation/arbitration. Today’s award is on top of the 95 improvements achieved for Health Care Bargaining Unit members in this new collective agreement.
The new collective agreement will expire October 31, 2020 so it won’t be long before we are back in bargaining. Wage improvements will be a top priority in this next round of bargaining.
NOTE: Where language in this document and the Collective Agreement conflicts, the language in the Collective Agreement prevails.